Back to 1960s
The Most Important Building for the Vukovar Water Supply System
Between 1963 and 1968, the Vukovar Water Tower was built in the eastern part of the town on the fringe of the Mitnica settlement, in the area called Najpar bašča. The street running towards it also shared the same name as the Najpar family which were renowned for their generosity and as great benefactors.
Even at that time, it differed from all other similar structures for its height of 50.33m and its storing capacity of 200m3. However, no one could possibly imagine that it had been destined for such a big historic role and that it would turn from a water supply structure into a hero of our time.
A silent witness of the 90s
The Symbol of Resistance and Invincibility
…and there came 1991… The picture of the town raised to the ground was sent to every corner of the world. The town was devoid of everything; there was no bird’s chirp. Vukovar was stunned into silence.
It was only the Vukovar Water Tower that stood tall in defiance of the enemy, time, and logic. It was targeted with more than 900 projectiles; had 640 wounds…
Yet it remained standing tall… proud in its pain, in the middle of nothingness …and waiting…
Once tall, elegant and unique, and then wounded, solitary and sad… it just stood screaming out in loud silence.
The Pride of Vukovar since 2000
The New Millennium Hero
It wasn’t in vain! This silent scream was a bombshell, perhaps the one that was louder than all other loud cries for help. It was heard both in Croatia and abroad.
In 2016, with the initiative of the Town of Vukovar and Major’s Office, the Vukovar Water Tower-the symbol of the Croatian unity fundraising campaign was initiated aimed at conserving and reconstructing the Water Tower.
With this act, an avalanche of the kindness of inconceivable dimensions began; everyone wanted to take part and contribute to healing the wounds of this Vukovar Giant. That is why everybody can come now and visit this symbol of resistance, defiance, and invincibility as well as the symbol of Croatian unity.
Croatia’s Pride since 2020
The Symbol of Croatian Unity
Here, in this symbol of humanity, kindness, and love, a variety of feelings replace each other; images alternate, the names are heard…
Hrvoje Džalto…Ivica Ivanika. These are the names written down not only in history but also in the hearts of people.
These are the names of two brave Vukovar defenders who were not aware of the magnitude and significance of what they were doing at that time. And they had done a lot. Every night they would take turns putting up a new and undamaged Croatian flag on the top of the Water Tower. In so doing they provided for the Vukovarians new hope and additional strength.
They stood in defiance of time, fear, and cold driven by love. For that reason, we give our love to them and keep them in memory, away from forgetting. They have embedded among stars and become legends.
The Water Tower Nowadays, a landmark and signpost, stands tall and proud despite the wounds and everything it has been through safe-keeping the memories of the famous past as well as brave people … and you, the big-hearted people.
Author: Jasna Babić, turizamvukovar.hr
Photography: Miroslav Šlafhauzer